While film buffs have been arguing over the need to make The Hobbit into three different films, anthropologists have been busy debating the origins of real hobbits, whose remains were discovered in Indonesia only a decade ago.
In 2003, researchers uncovered 18,000-year-old bones of a woman with a skull a third of the size of a human’s on the island of Flores, Indonesia. They subsequently found more remains belonging to up to nine similarly pint-sized prehistoric creatures. Nicknamed after the the J.R.R. Tolkiencharacters, they stood some 3 and a half feet tall.
The origin of these hobbits has been controversial, as claiming they are a different kind of hominid closer to Homo erectus than Homo sapiens throws a wrench in many established theories of human evolution. But Frodo fans can delight in new evidence that hobbits did in fact belong to the extinct species Homo floresiensis.